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Old 07-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mississauga / Montreal
Posts: 41
bad fuel leak?

My 1991 318iS has had a smell of fuel for a while, and I've been meaning to take it into a mechanic to get an oil change and that issue looked at. However yesterday when backing out of the garage, the car started making a scraping sound, as if dragging the muffler on the driveway, but nothing was dragging. At that point, fuel started dripping rapidly on the driver's side just ahead of the rear wheel. This continued while the engine was running, and stopped once the engine was shut down.

I'm trying to find a mechanic who is open today who can deal with the issue, but was wondering if anybody had any insight? Perhaps it's the fuel tank, or something else associated with that?

Any input is appreciated!

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Old 07-02-2011, 09:30 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 5,847
Return fuel line is probably rusted out at the top of the tank. This way, the car still runs but the excess fuel returned to the tank is being pumped on the ground. edit: this usually means you need a new tank.

The scraping sound could be one of the aluminum covers that tend to rust out dragging on the driveshaft.

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Mississauga / Montreal
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Thanks everlast - that sounds about right and I figured a new tank would be needed. Nice weekend to have no wheels! lol
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:59 AM   #4
14 Years with the E30
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: St. Catharines
Posts: 1,152
Perhaps not. The return lines and associated t junction are located above the passenger side wheel in the wheel well. On the 318 who knows. Anyways, that is usually covered by a cover plate that usually rusts out. The fuel expansion tank is behind a plastic flap/guard behind and above the rear pass. wheel. once that bolt breaks the flap may rub the wheel. You may find your issue there.

If your tank is that bad that it has broken free of all those bolts and is rubbing the driveshaft you have a real mess on your hands. I don't even think that could happen, given the space and that with the filler tube connected it really can't drop anywhere.

Again the 318 is a wildcard to me for the most part. Look and discover!

Performance one step at a time.
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